Would health reform spark exodus of best, brightest?

March 15, 2010
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Lots of angles of health care reform have been debated to death, but not this one: Guaranteed availability of insurance might be just what top employees in many  organizations are waiting for to bolt for the exits.

That’s the thinking of long-time human resources expert Karl Ahlrichs, who is writing a book about the topic. Ahlrichs recently joined Gregory & Appel Insurance as a benefits consultant.

Ahlrichs is hard-pressed to predict how many people would quit their jobs. Maybe just a relative few, maybe more.

But he thinks a number of baby boomers who currently are rejected for health insurance for various reasons would try something else if they could be assured of getting coverage—even if it cost upward of $10,000 per person.

They might start a business or take a couple of part-time jobs they enjoy. Perhaps they’d grab a part-time job and spend the balance of their time helping a favorite charity.

What most organizations don’t realize is, the best and brightest will take advantage of the opportunity first, Ahlrichs says. “The people who will leave are the good ones. The people who will stay are the mediocre ones.”

Ultimately, he adds, health reform might result in redistributing talent from poorly managed organizations to places that add more value to society.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Ahlrichs?

  • huh?
    Sounds like a lot of guessing to me; I'm not at all convinced; and it also sounds like a comment that an insurance broker, ala insurance company rep, would make!
  • interesting
    This is an interesting angle that I had not really considered before. There have been many times when I have talked to someone and or heard of someone staying in a job just because of the benefits. Universal health coverage could open a whole new avenue for many people who only stay for coverage. Also I myself avoid jobs with no health benefits, I imagine I would now consider them.
  • agree
    I know of several people who are afraid to leave because of insurance. I think the possibility of obtaining coverage outside the workplace would open up a lot of opportunities for people. Let's face it, by the time you are in your late 40's or 50's, nearly everyone has a 'prexisting' condition of some sort.
  • Nope
    Sounds like opponent to health care reform grabbing at straws...if it wasn't such a serious issue, I'd almost be amused!
  • Paul,
    I think this is actually an argument in favor of health care reform.
  • depends on ...
    depends on what is in the bill. If the bill has became a mandate for grabbing money out of our pockets without any benefits (like our current health care system), than it won't be any better. But if it provides a reasonable amount of coverage, it can spur one of two things. 1) Innovation like discussed in the above article. 2) a bunch of lazy people who won't get a job because they are going to live off the fat of the land (ie: like welfare before Clinton purposed a limit to the extent of how long welfare can be used). Or there can be a blend of the two. I just hope that IF we do implement a Health Care system for the general public, that the loop holes and pitfalls are filled in and we don't allow people to just take-take-take without giving back to the society as a whole.
  • Why just the brightest?
    I agree that national healthcare may open up a lot of opportunities for those who are tied to their current job due to health insurance, but not sure I agree it will affect only the top, brightest people. It sounds to me like the highest and lowest will benefit the most from healthcare reform, while everyone in the middle gets the finger - again!
  • The brightest won't buy health insurance
    The brightest will pay the $750 per year "penalty" rather than pay that per month for health insurance. This is just a ploy to get to single payer. As people catch on that they have nothing to lose by being uninsured they will drop coverage in mass. Premiums will skyrocket as the pool of insureds shrink away. The government will have to step in and insure us because we will not insure ourselves.
    I visualize insurance sign up desks at the ER or agents located next to main medical facilities. A insurance sign up person at the intake desk?
  • Your absolute fools...
    Every one of you that doubts this article is an absolute fool...I've been a healthcare professional for 17 years and I can PROMISE you many, many top healthcare professionals are making alternate plans for their profession. These people are perfectionists that will not be controlled and regulated by crappy government standards; the ones who won't tolerate taking sub-standard care of their patients are the exceptional ones, and they will be the first to go. Go ahead and act like you know it all - you know nothing unless you've been in the profession

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